The other day had several emails from two projects that I’m working on plus other subscriptions that I follow. Then, I started receiving some random emails which led me to believe that my email had been hacked or spoofed in some manner. Not to mention, I have another e-mail account that I use just for signing up with various retailers. I haven’t checked that email account for a week. So, I’m assuming that I have somewhere near 250 emails. For these reasons and more, my email is definitely out of control.
I doubt that reading emails is one of the habits of a highly effective people. In fact, in a presentation by Hank Blank he says that his interns do most of his work. While most of us don’t have interns to do our work, it might be time to control of our email. Here are some folder suggestions to regain control.
These are the emails that are directed to me specifically and require a response within 24-48hrs. These are emails about contract offers or from project members who need a response quickly. Your colleagues, professional associates and clients will judge you based on the promptness of your response, thus the name performance driven.
These are the emails that you need to address or respond to within a week. From a priority perspective, I may not be able to respond to all items same day so I have created rules to group emails from each organization. Although I believe these communications to be important, they are a lower priority. Emails from the Small Business Administration, Linkedin, PMI or OC Product Managers are important because they help me learn about my profession and grow my business. Usually, this correspondence provides information about upcoming events including cutoff dates. However, they are not as time sensitive as those that are performance driven.
When I sign up on sites where I purchase items (e.g., Best Buy, Express, Redbox) I have an email account specifically for these websites. In addition, I use this email account to get to know the company to be sure they won’t spam me. This account may not be checked for several weeks. In most cases, I just delete most of the emails which is why it’s called the garbage pail.
Of course there are many other folders that might help you specifically. The idea is to stop letting emails control you. I would be interested in some of your email folders or how you organize your emails. Please continue the discussion by commenting below.